The ruling PTI announced to change the venue of the March 27 rally from D-Chowk, which is in the Red Zone, to Parade Ground. The move comes after local authorities expressed concerns over the security in the area.
The party’s central secretariat administrator Zahid Hussain Kazmi wrote a letter to Islamabad’s deputy commissioner. In the letter, he asked the official to make necessary arrangements for the gathering.
Furthermore, PTI uploaded the letter on its official Twitter account. In a tweet, the PTI said that “the Parade Ground will be more suitable to accommodate the number of people that are expected to participate in the rally.”
ہم 27مارچ کا جلسہ ڈی چوک کی بجائے پریڈ گراؤنڈ میں کریں کیونکہ جس تعداد میں عوام جلسے میں شرکت کرے گی اس کے لیے پریڈ گراؤنڈ بہترین وینیو ثابت ہوگا اسلام آباد انتظامیہ کو وینیو تبدیلی کی درخواست جمع کروا دی ہے- #آخری_سانس_تک_عمران_خان pic.twitter.com/HBphRb84iq
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 21, 2022
Important to note, PTI has touted that the rally will be a historic rally. In fact, PM Khan had tasked party leaders to gather one million people for the rally.
Earlier, PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan, too, had tweeted that the D-Chowk would prove to be a “small venue” for the “biggest rally in the history of Pakistan”.
“D-Chowk will be a small place for our rally anyway. For the number of people coming, Parade Avenue will be a suitable place. This rally will be the biggest rally in the history of Pakistan. The confidence of the whole nation remains with Prime Minister Imran With Khan. The defeat of the opposition is certain,” the PTI leader tweeted.
ہمارے جلسے کے لیے ویسے بھی اب ڈی چوک چھوٹی جگہ پڑ جائے گی – جس تعداد میں عوام آ رہے ہیں پریڈ ایونیو مناسب جگہ رہے گی – یہ جلسہ پاکستان کی تاریخ کا سب سے بڑا جلسہ ہو گا انشاء اللہ – پوری قوم کا اعتماد وزیراعظم عمران خان کے ساتھ ہے – اپوزیشن کی شکست یقینی ہے انشاء اللہ
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) March 21, 2022
Concerns of violence
The PTI rally comes as a response to the Opposition’s no-trust motion. However, the Opposition too announced a rally at the same venue. This raised concerns about a possible clash between PTI and Opposition workers. To clarify, the Red Zone houses important government institutions including the Parliament House, Supreme Court, Presidency, and the Prime Minister Office.
Moreover, last week, PTI supporters attacked the Sindh House in protest against dissident PTI MNAs staying there. As a result, the Supreme Court Bar Association filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding officials to maintain law and order in Islamabad.
It also requested authorities, to “prevent any assembly, gathering, public meetings and/or processions that could hamper the assembly proceedings or participation of members in the session”.
In yesterday’s hearing, the Attorney General of Pakistan revealed that the police received orders to not allow the public to enter the Red Zone area during the NA session.
While the PTI shifted the venue, the Opposition said it will also make an announcement after in-party consultations.